At home I run an Ubuntu server which I unfortunately upgraded to the sigh Edgy Eft.

Damn, I used to think Debian unstable was unstable!

On the couple of occasions the machine wasn’t broken, I stupidly did a dist-upgrade. When will I learn? Perhaps I like to “repair” a broken system to learn more about my system. Who knows.

Anyway the last dist-upgrade with X failing to start with some “fixed font” error, had me thinking about rolling back updates.

As far as I know, downgrading to dapper requires some precarious apt pinning and some praying. I should try that.

Rolling back and comparing with old versions could be easier. Of course there is the great resource of Debian snapshot though I usually just download the package I require by hand. I could try set it up with apt, but I highly doubt down grades work with wild inter-dependencies like the X server suite. Anyway it could be better integrated.

Like a version control system, without the conflicts. ;)

I can’t help but think why should my box ever be broken? If an upgrade b0rked, why doesn’t it just go back to the last working snapshot? Oh well, we’re still miles ahead of Windows update. Though having to restart firefox is almost as disruptive as rebooting the entire system.
Atomic upgrades like svn has atomic commits? Wow, yes, that’s a wonderful idea :)
Comment by Alexander Toresson
To be fair I had this exact problem with Debian unstable (the font issue) since my box started out so long ago (I’ve never reinstalled the box and it’s running unstable for over 10 years now!) FontPath in /etc/X11/xorg.conf needs to be /usr/share/fonts/X11/... (I think it was /usr/lib/X11/fonts/... on my old config.
Comment by Adrian Bridgett

Debian Unstable is unstable because their dependences, its can be broken. But programs on Unstable should be near to release, so they should works fine.

Long live to Debian !

Comment by Javi

As you can see, you can’t rely anything important (not even your pr0n archives). Debian can break if you
a) don’t run apt-get
b) run apt-get

so whatever your path is, you end up in broken debian system.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux on the other hand… =)

Comment by Joose Vettenranta

Snapshot worked for me….

Because it was X, I ended up reinstalling every package depending on X. But because X is an application that doesn’t require a reboot or anything silly.

Of course backing out this way is dependent on no irreversable changes to data, but I doubt other vendors do a better job than Debian here. Sure one vendr will restore some types of metadata to their earlier configuration, but it ain’t intelligent in the way it is done.

Comment by Simon Waters
[...] If I had more time I would have chased this down. Though as I’ve whined about before, you can’t roll back and diff that easily between upgrade snapshots. [...]
Comment by Natalian » Blog Archive » Changes